Saint Panteleimon's is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving the New South Wales Central Coast and the northern suburbs of Sydney. We are a parish of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Established in 2000, our parish is one of the newest in our Diocese. Download an English-language copy of our Autumn (March, April and May) 2018 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Autumn 2018 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
At 7.00pm on Thursday 24 May, the eve of the commemoration of the translation of the relics of Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye, we will have a moleben with an akathist to the saint. This service will be entirely in Slavonic. At this service all of our parishioners, benefactors and friends will be commemorated by name. Others wishing to be commemorated at this service – or who wish to put forward names for commemoration – are welcome to contact us. This service will take place before an icon of Saint Symeon blessed on his relics, a gift to our parish from the handmaiden of God Olga in Ekaterinburg. Saint Symeon was born into a noble family but concealed his origins and lived simply. He moved to the Ural region of Russia during the Time of Troubles, living first in Verkhoturye and later in Merkushino, a nearby village. An accomplished tailor, he would sew fine garments but leave before he could be paid for his work. He reposed aged 35 and was buried in the churchyard at Merkushino. His incorrupt relics were revealed in 1692 and he was formally glorified in 1794. A spring, now enclosed in a beautiful chapel, flows at the place of his burial. His shrine in Verkhoturye was a popular place of pilgrimage prior to the Russian Revolution, with over 60,000 visitors a year. Many have received healing and spiritual consolation through his prayers. Confiscated by the Soviet authorities, his relics were nevertheless preserved and returned to Verkhoturye in 1992. Our parish endeavours to remember him a number of times during the year: on the feast of All Saints of Ekaterinburg (11 February NS); on the day of his glorification (31 December); and on the days of the first and second translations of his relics (25 May and 25 September). Holy Righteous Symeon, pray to God for us!
As Saturday 26 May - the Saturday before Pentecost, the commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles - is a day of commemoration of the departed we will have a general panikhida with a blessing of koliva and other foods at 7.00pm on Friday 25 May.
At 7.00pm on Thursday 31 May we will have a moleben and akathist to Saint Panteleimon, the heavenly patron of our parish and an unmercenary healer. This service will be entirely in Church Slavonic. At akathists in our parish all of our parishioners, benefactors and friends are commemorated by name. Others wishing to be commemorated at this service – or who wish to put forward names for commemoration – are welcome to contact us. Our next moleben and akathist to Saint Panteleimon in English will be on Thursday 28 June.
The Royal Passionbearers of Russia - Tsar Nicholas II and his family - and their faithful companions were cruelly and unjustly murdered by the Bolsheviks in the middle of the night of 16-17 July 1918. Our parish will mark the centenary of their martyrdom with solemn midnight services. On the evening on Monday 16 July All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will begin at 9.30pm, and Divine Liturgy will begin in the early hours of Tuesday 17 July. At these services we will also commemorate Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Nun Varvara, and those martyred with them at Alapayevsk during the night of 17-18 July 1918. A brief moleben to the Royal Passionbearers with a prayer of repentance will be served at the end of Divine Liturgy. Holy Royal Passionbearers of Russia, pray to God for us!
Our Winter 2018 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format. A copy of the English-language Winter 2018 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2018 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.
On Saturday 19 May and Sunday 20 May we had services for the seventh Sunday of Pascha and in honour of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council convened in Nicaea in 325 AD. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the history of the First Ecumenical Council and the enduring importance for Christian life of the decisons that it made.
On Wednesday 16 May and Thursday 17May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning. As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate was signed, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read after the Augmented Litany and a brief service of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon. After the dismissal the parish rector spoke briefly about the traditional significance of the feast-day and about the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On the evening of Tuesday 15 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of the year. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open. The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services for the Ascension of the Lord.
On Saturday 5 May and Sunday 6 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha - the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman (John 4:5-42) – and in honour of the Great Martyr, Trophy-bearer and Wonderworker George (+303 AD). In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the extraordinary conversation of Christ with the Samaritan Woman Photini by Jacob’s Well, her conversion and martyrdom, and the help received over the centuries through the prayers of Saint George. For the first time in our fourteen years at West Gosford refreshments were not offered after the service, our hall and kitchen having been closed in preparation for the construction of a second floor above the hall and a choir loft at the rear of the church. We hope to have this work finished by late July 2018.
Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day we commemorate Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30). Although we were again unable to have services on Wednesday 2 May, the day of Mid-Pentecost itself, on the eve of the feast we had Matins followed by the customary blessing of water. The blessing of water occurs on this day as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38).
On Saturday 28 April and Sunday 29 April we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic. Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised infant Amelia Bolonin. As 29 April was the tenth anniversary of the enthronement of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), a moleben of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon. At the end of the service the parish rector spoke briefly about Metropolitan Hilarion’s election as First Hierarch and his wise leadership over the past ten years. In accordance with a directive of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops, 'Many Years' was then intoned for Metropolitan Hilarion and 'Eternal Memory' was sung for the ever-memorable Emperor Alexander II, the "Tsar-Liberator" assassinated in 1881, it being the two-hundredth anniversary of his birth.
On Saturday 14 April and Sunday 15 April we had services for the second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the newly-baptised child Teagan (Katerina) Rochtchina received Holy Communion for the first time. Following the Prayer before the Amvon at the prayer at the breaking of the Artos was read. In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion in Russian and in English. At the dismissal, pieces of the blessed Artos were given to the faithful.
On Sunday 15 April, Thomas Sunday, the parish rector baptised Amelia Bolonin, the infant daughter and first child of Yuriy and Eugenia Bolonin. Amelia was baptised in honour of Righteous Emmelia of Caesarea. Her godparents were Alexei Kozlovski and Svetlana Bolonina. We warmly congratulate Yuriy, Eugenia, Alexei and Svetlana and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Amelia many years!
On Saturday 14 April, Bright Saturday, the parish rector baptised two year-old Teagan Rochtchina, the daughter of Marina Rochtchina. Teagan was given the name Katerina in baptism in honour of Great-Martyr Katherine of Alexandria. Her godmother was her maternal aunt, Anastasia Jeboult. We warmly congratulate Marina and Anastasia and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Katerina many years!
As is customary, this year our parish had a number of traditional services for Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha. Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет") and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served in the evening on Sunday 1 April, Monday 2 April, and Tuesday 3 April. Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served at midday on Friday 6 April and Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ was served that evening. On the morning of Saturday 7 April, Great and Holy Saturday and the Great Feast of the Annunciation, Divine Liturgy was served. On Saturday evening we had an early Midnight Office and procession followed by Paschal Matins and the blessing of Easter eggs and cakes. The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served on the morning of Sunday 8 April and festive foods were again blessed. Divine Liturgy was served on the morning of Monday 9 April, Bright Monday.
On Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday. All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, five loaves and pussy-willow branches was served on Saturday evening, during which a great many people took the opportunity to confess their sins in preparation to receive Holy Communion on the following day. Prior to Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Lesser Blessing of Water was served. Our church was full to overflowing on the day of the feast, with well over 100 people present. Receiving Holy Communion for the first time was the newly-baptised infant Alexei Morozoff. Following the service a collection was taken up to assist the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.
Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute (SCMOI) is the newly-established theological and higher learning institute of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. It provides undergraduate and postgraduate award courses by arrangement with the Adelaide College of Divinity and the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology. SCMOI is offering a free online lecture series on "Sexuality, Homosexuality and the Bible" beginning on Thursday 19 April 2018. Online registration is available here: https://www.scmoi.edu.au/free-lecture-series.
The Holy Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church took place in Moscow from 29 November 2017 until 2 December 2017. On Monday 4 December 2017, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple and the centenary of the enthronement of Patriach Tikhon (Belavin) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria officiated at Divine Liturgy in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, concelebrating with the Primates of the majority of Local Orthodox Churches and a multitude of hierarchs and other clergy. Links to a selection of documents approved by the Council and news items relating to this historic event in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church are set out below.
These documents and news items, together with many others, are available in Russian here.